Mercer skatepark still draws interest

July 14, 2004|ANN HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - A skatepark will not be built at Anderson-Dean Community Park for some time, but the interest has not waned.

Two companies that produce the equipment, Skatewave and Premier, stopped by the park here Friday on their way to Danville to demonstrate their wares, said park Director Mark Bryant.

Bryant said he was impressed with both companies' products and that representatives will return for a larger demonstration at Anderson-Dean.

Park Board Chairman Bill Wickliffe said the skatepark is on the board's list of priorities, but that does not mean it will be built soon. Also on that list is a girls' slow-pitch softball field. The skatepark is expected to cost between $72,000-$85,000. The softball field will cost between $100,000-$140,000.

Wickliffe said after the board's monthly meeting Tuesday that both facilities are needed and the level of need is about the same. "The park should provide as much recreation for people from age 2 to 102 as we possibly can."


Nevertheless, there is no funding for either facility and no location in the park has been designated for either project. The skatepark will require a 100-foot by 100-foot slab of concrete in a place where it might be enlarged.

As for both facilities, the board wants to make use of the available parking, bathrooms and concessions so those needs don't have to be duplicated. Bryant said a possible location for the skatepark would be behind the aquatic center, which has a parking area.

The skatepark ideally would offer areas for novice, intermediate and advanced skaters. It would likely be built to accommodate skateboards, bicycles and roller blades.

The aquatic center is in its second summer and clearly is a popular venue. So far this summer, the average attendance has been 350 a day; when it was being built, park officials said they hoped for 100-160 a day. There has not been enough parking, Wickliffe said; there have been 50-60 cars a day parked on the grass.

The money from admission and concession stand at the pool has totaled $65,000 through Monday, and the facility is rented for 95 percent of the time available.

As good as all these figures are, Wickliffe said profits are not being projected for the year since some of the money that has been paid will be needed to be saved for future maintenance and repairs on the facility when it is not brand new.

"Just because we have a profit doesn't mean we have to spend it," he said.

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